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Racine, Wisconsin, United States
We (my wife and I) are celebrating the 11th Anniversary of HAPLR, and more importantly, our 38th Anniversary. The HAPLR system uses data provided by 9,000 public libraries in the United States to create comparative rankings. The comparisons are in broad population categories. HAPLR provides a comparative rating system that librarians, trustees and the public can use to improve and extend library services. I am the director of Waukesha County Federated Library System.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

10th Annivesary HAPLR Data

New Edition

We celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings (HAPLR) this year. In 10 years HAPLR has become widely recognized in the public library world. As is to be expected, the rating system has critics as well as fans. We are proud of HAPLR and what it has done for libraries in the nation. We look forward to many more years of ranking, assessing, and providing report cards for libraries in the U.S. I will continue to refine HAPLR based on the advice of both fans and critics.

HAPLR identifies the public libraries in America with the highest input and output measures. Statistics alone cannot define library excellence, of course, but Hennen believes that the ratings numbers are still important. The HAPLR Index uses six input and nine output measures. The author added the scores for each library within a population category to develop a weighted score. The population categories change at 1,000, 2,500, 5,000, 10,000, 25,000, 50,000, 100,000, 250,000, and 500,000 residents.

The HAPLR Index is similar to an ACT or SAT score with a theoretical minimum of 1 and a maximum of 1,000, although most libraries score between 260 and 730. The HAPLR Index web site provides a method for obtaining score cards and rating sheets for individual public libraries. It also provides further information on the rating index and other services provided by the author.

The previous editions saw extensive media attention. This edition is expected to receive more attention.

After 10 years, there is now a competitor index. Sponsored by Bibliostat, a library data gathering software firm, and Library Journal, the LJ Index uses only 4 output measures rather than the 6 input and 9 output measures in the HAPLR Ratings.

A list of Top Ten Libraries in each category is available at:

HAPLR scores are compared to their LJ Index counterparts: LJ_HAPLR_ScoreComparisons_2009-06.htm

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